In everyday life, we come into many situations – sometimes nice things happen, other times we hear sad news or experience stressful moments. Many bad and negative thoughts can come up in our mind during all these different situations. These are thoughts that we have to fight against - thoughts of pride, unthankfulness, discouragement, worry, demands or accusations against the people around us, etc.
It says about Jesus in Isaiah 7:15 (ESV), “He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.” Simply put, this is what fighting against sin means: to refuse the evil – to say No to bad thoughts - and to choose the good - to practice thinking good thoughts.
How do we fight?
How do we fight to win? Everyone who has tried to fight against their own bad thoughts can probably say from experience that you can’t do it with your own willpower.
First we have to decide to love Jesus with our whole heart and to serve only Him. He is the one who can help us to always overcome the evil. We have to ask Him for help when we are tempted – before we fall in sin. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus willingly gives us the help and power we need to overcome. We often receive a verse from the Bible that helps us in difficult situations.
One of these verses is Philippians 4:8 (GNT), where it is written: “In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable.”
We should be thankful for everything God sends. Often, we can find ourselves wishing that we had different circumstances in life, or we can have our own opinions about what our future should be like and what we think would be best for ourselves. We have to put these thoughts into God's hands, and practice to be thankful and to trust in Him.
When we have to give up our own will to do what God wants us to do, it can be really difficult and it can feel like “suffering”, but afterwards it gives us an inner peace, and bit by bit, we are becoming free from sin.
Sometimes we have to learn to be patient in a difficult situation, and other times we have to learn to throw all our cares on God and believe like a child. These are not easy things to do and we experience them as “suffering”, because it’s much more natural for us to wish for our difficult situations to go away as soon as possible, or to doubt that God will guide everything for our very best in life, as is written in Romans 8:28.
But what is the result? That is written in 1 Peter 4:1: “… for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from [stopped with] sin …” To suffer in the flesh is when, instead of sinning, I choose to endure the suffering which I feel when I say No to the thing that I’m tempted to from my flesh (from my human nature).
We can truly overcome all sin! This gives us an inner peace. We know that step by step, we are becoming free from sin. The more we fight against the sin inside us, the easier and better it is to be with the people around us. We get peace and joy when we no longer have any demands that the others should change. This makes our life here on earth so rich and wonderful.
And we can really look forward to the future, because every day we can overcome a bit more!